What is even more crazy is he wasn't removed and injured and bloody from having to give up his seat to another passenger. Instead to add insult to injury he was removed by security officials to place in his seat the crew of a Louisville, Kentucky plane that couldn't take off without their crew.
- Apr 10, 2017 · ... did wrong before — and after — passenger was dragged off plane. What United did wrong before and after passenger was dragged off. ... United ...
First, a video recorded Sunday of passenger David Dao being forcibly pulled off one of its planes went viral on the internet — causing a stir both stateside and abroad over how the man was treated.
Amid the uproar, CEO Oscar Munoz issued a statement in which he only apologized that the airline had to ask four people to leave the flight, not to the man who was screaming as he was pulled out of his seat.
"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United," said Munoz, who last month was named PRWeek's Communicator of the Year. "I apologize for having to re-accomodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened."
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The executive added that United Airlines would speak to Dao about the incident to get his side.
One public relations expert didn't see the upside to Munoz's statements.
"It's amazing how he was able to rise to CEO," Mark Macias, a PR consultant and CNBC contributor, told the Daily News. "As far as what he did wrong: he lacked empathy. He made practically every crisis mistake. He criticized the passenger. "
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Even White House press secretary Sean Spicer weighed in on the “unfortunate incident” at a Tuesday briefing.
A petition on Change.org calling for Munoz's removal as CEO of the publicly traded airline — which had nearly 19,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon — also cited United Airline's decision to bar two teenage girls from a flight because they were wearing leggings.
Prolonged outrage about the dragging led the executive to issue another letter to employees on Tuesday, where he said "disturbed by what happened on this flight."
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"I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to al lthe customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way," he said, adding that "we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right."
"This isn't about United. This is about the customers," he said. "My PR interns have probably learned that in school."
Things didn't bode well for United Tuesday even beyond public relations. Shares of the company fell more than four points not long after the market opened, CNBC reported, making the company the worst-performing of the day in the S&P 500.
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A United spokesman said Tuesday that the flight was sold out — clarifying earlier statements that it was overbooked.
“They were considered ‘must-ride’ passengers,” United spokesman Jonathan Guerin told USA Today.
Dao was the only one involved in an altercation.
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Overbooking — originally believed to be the reason why the passengers were bumped — is typically common to avoid empty seats on flights.
Overbooking rules are governed under the U.S. Department of Transportation, which mandates that an airline first ask if anyone wants to give up their seats. If the company must force people off involuntarily, they typically must be compensated, according to the department. CNN Money reported that happened 46,000 times in 2015.
But bumping passengers usually happens at the gate — before they board — not once people have entered the plane, experts told CNN Money.
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"This is pretty unusual, what happened," Hobica told CNN Money.
"First We Seat You. Then We Beat You. Not So Friendly Skies. #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos" user @akmk wrote, playing off of United Airlines' "Fly the friendly skies" slogan.
"Our prices are unbeatable. But not our customers. #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos," wrote @killercola1969.